Week commencing 9 September 2019

In today's bulletin

• Building housing into the national infrastructure strategy
• £400m fund to develop EV rapid charging points

• Water treatment removes 99.9 per cent of microplastics
• Night-Time enterprise zone to be trialled to help sustain high street economies

Property, Planning and Regeneration

Residential sales fall as Brexit uncertainty takes hold

Chartered surveyors in the residential sales and lettings markets expect house sales to fall in the short term, according to the August 2019 RICS Residential Market Survey.
Data released on 12 September also predicts a further downturn in activity over the next three months. Unsurprisingly, Brexit uncertainty is a significant factor causing hesitation for both buyers and sellers.

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Building housing into the national infrastructure strategy

The UK needs to build a nationwide housing strategy in order to meet housing needs and to address the critical changes anticipated across technological, environmental and demographic fronts, according to the annual report by The Institution of Civil Engineers.
Published last week (10 September), State of the Nation 2019: Connecting Infrastructure with Housing Recommendations makes a number of recommendations, including making housing part of the National Infrastructure Commission’s formal charter.

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Greater public involvement in planning key to solving the housing crisis, according to report

A new report by Demos looking into ways to solve the housing crisis has called for more public involvement in the planning process. The study concludes that while most people are supportive of new homes being built in their area, they generally do not feel included in housebuilding decisions.
The recommendations include making pre-application consultations mandatory for major housing developments, and for local authorities to trial using citizens’ assemblies when developing local plans.

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DfT under fire for not acting against pavement parking

In a new report released on 9 September, the House of Commons Transport Committee criticised the Department for Transport for not acting on pavement parking, despite MPs being told it has a detrimental effect on people’s lives.
In the Pavement Parking report, the Transport Committee called for an outright ban on pavement parking across England, along with setting out recommendations to tackle pavement parking while the ban is prepared.

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All new buses to be ultra-low or zero emission from 2025

The Confederation of Passenger Transport (CPT), which represents bus operators, has committed to working with the Government to make new buses ultra-low or zero emissions from 2025, as part of its new Moving Forward Together strategy, launched on 9 September.
The strategy sets out commitments to reduce travel time and costs for job seekers and apprentices, improve local journey times, help tackle climate change and ultimately get a billion more bus passengers by 2030.

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£400m fund to develop EV rapid charging points

The Treasury has pledged £400 million to help develop electric vehicle rapid charging infrastructure, with a first investment of £70 million set to more than double the number of rapid charging points across the UK to 5000 by 2024.
The move comes as part of a wider £500 million plus investment into green technologies, intended to secure cleaner infrastructure for the future.

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Energy and environment

A call for global leadership on climate adaptation

A new report from the Global Commission on Adaptation is calling on leaders to act now to find solutions to the climate crisis.
With the threat of rising sea levels and natural disasters costing an estimated $1 trillion a year by 2050, the Commission hopes these findings will urge decision makers, governments and businesses to adapt.

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Energy demand to peak in the 2020s

While the global energy demand currently remains in line with 2016 scenario modelling, per capita energy demand is expected to peak between 2020 and 2025.
The World Energy Scenarios report outlines the challenge for governments and businesses to meet the 2°C target agreed in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Paris Agreement, while also providing insight into how innovation may lead to alternative energy sources and change existing projections.

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Water treatment removes 99.9 per cent of microplastics

Pioneering water industry research shows how untreated water in the UK contains on average 4.9 microplastics per litre, however water that had gone through an innovative new treatment process contained only 0.00011 microplastics per litre.
The research commissioned by UK Water Industry Research comes after a recent report from the World Health Organisation which called for more research into the potential impacts of microplastics in drinking water.

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Other News

Night Time Enterprise Zone to be trialled to help sustain high street economies

A Night Time Enterprise Zone will be trialled in Walthamstow, after research showed that 92 per cent of England’s local councils felt a night-time economy could help high street traders.
The Mayor of London announced that Waltham Forest will pilot strategies to boost its town centre at night, including a ‘shop local late’ campaign and funding to promote evening events.

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